Lloyds boss says firms lack the digital skills to drive future growth

Russell Galley, Lloyds Banking Groups ambassador for Yorkshire
Russell Galley, Lloyds Banking Groups ambassador for Yorkshire

More than 40 per cent of Yorkshire firms lack basic digital skills which means they are missing out on opportunities to drive growth, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Business and Charity Index.

It found that only eight per cent of the region’s firms are using digital channels to find new growth opportunities and a third have no interest in developing their cyber security capability.

By embracing digital skills, UK businesses could generate an additional £85bn in turnover, according to the report.

Across Yorkshire, a quarter (27 per cent) of businesses are benefiting from trading online domestically, above the UK average of 21 per cent. The region’s firms are using digital to target international markets, with 13 per cent of Yorkshire businesses using online channels to trade overseas, five percentage points above the UK average.

A third (33 per cent) of Yorkshire SMEs said they have no interest in developing their cyber security capability.

Russell Galley, Lloyds Banking Group’s ambassador for Yorkshire, said: “Businesses in Yorkshire have hugely improved their digital skills in the past three years with 57 per cent of firms now holding basic digital skills compared to 35 per cent in 2015. This has unlocked major benefits including better management of invoices and accounts and improved communication with customers and suppliers.

“But there is still some way to go if the region’s firms want to keep up with the UK’s tech transformation.